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The Brig - Indiana

A history of 'The Indiana' 1812-1821

18th_Century_Brig  An 18th Century Brig

The first entry for the Indiana, in the Lloyds Register of Shipping is in 1813, so the assumption is that the vessel was acquired by Newark Andrews around that date. There is no listing for the vessel beforehand and as it is clearly not new, the assumption must be, that it was foreign registered and as the word, PRIZE is entered, where normally the place of construction would be, then it may have been a salvaged vessel. An incident was reported in the Lloyds List on 31 March 1812 and it is most likely that Newark salvaged this vessel and had it repaired. 


Warkworth is a town on the Northumberland coast, north of Newcastle.

This would explain the repairs subsequently carried out in 1812 and 1814 detailed below.

Description from the 1813 entry in ‘Lloyds Register of Shipping’:–

The vessel is a Brig of 138 tonnes, with a single deck (SD) and an 8 foot draught of water when fully laden. It was surveyed in Sunderland in 1812.The vessel has been damaged in the past (which could relate to the press cutting above) but this damage has been repaired - in 1812 (Drp12)

The condition of the ship, when surveyed has been classed as E1. The letter ‘E’ signifies a vessel of 2nd class but which has been kept in perfect repair and that at the time of the survey, no defects were apparent. The vessel is considered to be wholly capable of carrying a dry cargo with safety.

The classification ‘1’ relates to the materials that the vessel is made of and in this case they are considered to be well found.

The owner is Andrews (known to be Newark Andrews - 1747-1824) and the Master is J. Burnicle; known to be John Burnicle (1781-1845) a nephew of Newark Andrews. The brig is sailing between Sunderland and London and from other sources, the cargo is known to be coal.


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1813


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1814

The additional information in the 1814 entry indicates that further repairs have been carried out in 1814 (rp14) and that a part new bottom has been fitted. (pt. NB). The draught when fully laden has increased from 8 feet to 11 feet, presumably because of the fitting of a new bottom. It is now also sailing from Sunderland to Rotterdam.


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1816

The entry for 1816 shows more clearly the references to the work done in 1814 and confirms also, the ship was re-surveyed in that year following the improvements. It is now shown only to be sailing between Sunderland and Rotterdam.

Thomas Andrews (1790-1870) was the youngest son of Newark and was educated for a life in commerce from an early age and because he suffered from epilepsy, he could not go to sea like his brothers before him. He would appear to have been a meticulous man and he kept a day book, which started in 1816. In this book, he recorded all manner of things including details of bills of exchange. The following entries are the ones relating to the Indiana and each probably represent a transport voyage.

For context, an amount of £10 in 1816 is equivalent to approximately £1,000 today. (Source: Bank of England)

Bill of Exchange

£67-9-10 Rochester  April 30th 1816

Two Months after date pay Mr Thos. Andrews                       Sir R.C. Glyn, Bart, Matthews & Hopkins

or order Sixty Seven Pounds Nine Shillings                           Mills, Halifax & Co.

and Ten pence. (Ex Indiana) Value Received.                       Bankers, London

This is a period before limited liability joint stock banks were formed but even at this early date it is possible to recognise some of the names, of what have become the banking giants of today. In the above example, this partnership, through various takeovers and mergers eventually became part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, now known as The NatWest Group.

Bill of Exchange

£60-0-0 London 14 Oct 1816

Sixty days after date I promise to pay                                     Messrs. Forster Lubbocks & Co

Mr R Fenwick or order Sixty Pounds                                       Bankers

Value received in Coals ex the ship Indiana                           London

Dec 27   Paid The Master of the Indiana Bal.                         £19-2s-6d

Bill of Exchange                                                                 (Due Febry 19th 1817)

£69-2-5 London Dec 18th 1816

Sixty Days after date we promise

to pay Mr N Andrews or order Sixty Nine

Pounds Two Shillings and five pence

For value received by freight of coals                                      Messrs.Rogers, Lowgood & Co,

Ex the ship Indiana                                                                  Burton & Bentley, Bankers

During June or July of 1816, whilst making a delivery of coal, the ship caused damage to the wharf at Rochester in Kent and this may be the reason why, in December the Indiana was laid up  and the anchor carried out. Some repair work may have been required to the structure although it cannot have been substantial as nothing additional is recorded in the Lloyds Register entries for subsequent years. An entry in the day book later that year, states that,

 “The Indiana given into the Merchant C list and laid up”. It is not known what the ‘Merchant C List’ is, or was.


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1817

In February the sum of 1s/6d was paid for carrying out the Indiana’s anchor as aforesaid.

In connection with the damage caused to Rochester Bridge, the following letter was received and recorded in the Day Book.

Sir,                                                                                                                                                                   Rochester, 17th Jany 1817

We wrote you on 27th July last on the subject of the damage done by the Brig Indiana to Rochester bridge. Now beg to inform you that, unless full compensation is immediately made, we shall commence an action at Law against you without further notice.

(signed)  Harper & Lewis

Clerk of the Bridge

There is no evidence of any subsequent action at law, although clearly it was considered as this email from the Rochester archivist confirms, in response to my enquiry in 2015.

“Thank you for your email concerning the collision of the brig Indiana. I have found the following report in the minutes of the Committee of Assistants of Rochester Bridge for 27 July 1816:

 “The coal brig Indiana of Newcastle, Newark Burnikell Master having done considerable damage to the starlings of the wharf in lease to Mr. Matthews [John Burton Matthews, one of the bridge tenants who ran a coal business], and Mr. Alexander [Bridge Engineer Daniel Alexander] having estimated that they cannot be repaired for a sum less than £70, ordered that the Clerks do apply to the said Master for that sum & in case it should be necessary, that they do use such legal measures to compel payment as shall be requisite.”

“There is no other mention of the incident either in the minutes or in the accounts and no surviving correspondence of the Bridge Clerks William Hussey and David Baxter Lewis related to this incident. The opinion of counsel dated 25 November 1817 relates in general to the Bridge Wardens’ legal powers to pursue payment for damage to the bridge, but does not mention any specific incident.”

It is interesting to note that Newark Burnikell was stated to be the Master at the time of the incident although his brother John is stated to be the Master in the Lloyds Register. Might it have been that Newark was not as experienced as his brother?

The final bill of exchange recorded is dated 20th August 1817 and is for some £20 less than the average of the preceding ones. Was it a smaller load, or had the price of coal fallen? 

Bill of Exchange

Exchequer Bill No. 747 for £1,000 dated  July 29th 1817 No. 4815

£47-16-6 London   20th August 1817

Sixty days after date do promise to pay Mr T. Andrews                  Messrs. Rogers, Lowgood & Co

or order Forty Seven Pounds Sixteen Shillings and sixpence         Bankers

for value received by freight of coals ex the ship Indiana.               Signed Burton & Bentley 

There is no evidence that the coal voyages didn’t continue however and the vessel does remain registered until 1821 as the following entries in the Lloyds Register confirm.


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1818


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1819


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1820


Lloyds Register of Shipping - 1821

However, it does appear that the ship met it’s end in December 1818 when the following notice was printed in the British Press newspaper. That the vessel remained in the records for a further year can only be put down to tardiness in advising the relevant authorities, or indeed, tardiness in updating their records, by the authorities themselves.


There are no further entries in the register for the vessel after 1821, either owned by Newark Andrews, or anyone else, so the assumption must be that it was broken up and sold off and replaced by the John.


Linked toNewark Andrew, (Master Mariner); John Burnikell (Barnacle); Newark Burnikle

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